Wendy Barrie, founder of the award-winning Scottish Food Guide, says we should take full advantage of the amazing seafood available to us.
Living in Scotland we have a tremendous range of seafood on our doorstep… but do we eat it or do we settle for fish’n’chips a tad too often?
If you are reading this you probably enjoy shellfish from time to time but we could buy so much more, particularly now when our fisher-folk need our support.
Shellfish is fast food, rich in protein and minerals with a real taste of the sea. They can be steamed or sautéed, boiled or baked, barbecued or breaded and fried.
Granted some are easier to prepare than others but your fishmonger may assist or a quick google will sort you out!
We are so lucky in Fife with fabulous fishmongers like Douglas Murray in Inverkeithing, plus mobile shops travelling the length and breadth of the Kingdom so we have no excuses!
When in season, the Pittenweem crabs come ready-dressed and bivalves such as spoots, scallops and mussels couldn’t be easier to cook. As with any seafood, the trick is to cook them lightly and not over-cook.
For this shellfish medley, I simply used mussels and scallops but any combination in season will work beautifully.
You can buy fresh scallops, ready to use, and to prepare mussels, rinse under running cold water, pulling away the fibrous beards on each shell. All shells should be closed – if it doesn’t close promptly with a tap, discard it. (If it stays closed once cooked, also discard it).
Sauté sliced onion in a saucepan with a little Supernature rapeseed oil then add mussels along with a small glass of white wine. If you have a steamer, thinly sliced seasoned courgette or greens will cook in the same 5 minutes as the mussels in the pan below.
Meanwhile pan-fry scallops with a drizzle of oil in a pre-heated pan for 2-3 minutes per side, depending on their size. Use a slotted spoon to gather up the cooked scallops and mussels. Set aside and keep warm. Pour the juices from the mussel pan into the frying pan and boil rapidly, adding a generous slosh of cream and reduce to a lovely sauce. I also add some chives, a few red peppercorns and a knob of butter.
Check seasoning and add a fling of Scottish sea salt – shellfish can be naturally salty so be sure to taste the sauce first. Return all the shellfish to pan, swirl in sauce and serve in a heated bowl with the steamed courgettes. Dive in together and enjoy a shellfish feast with some crusty bread for mopping up any sauce.
Top 100 Women in Tourism 2020
Scottish Thistle Award Regional Ambassador (2018/19) for Central, Tayside & Fife
Recipes & Photos © Wendy Barrie
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